Nova Scotia Archives

'Let Your Fingers Do the Walking'

Using City, Provincial, Telephone and Business Directories


Provincial Directories

Provincial directories were occasional publishing ventures — but they are invaluable research tools nevertheless. All are on microfilm except for McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1868-69 [F91 N85 M11 1868-69] and McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1870-71 [F129 M11 M33] which are in hard-copy format only. Holdings at Nova Scotia Archives include the following:

  • Hutchinson's Nova Scotia Directory for 1864-65

  • Hutchinson's Nova Scotia Directory for 1866-67

  • McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1868-69

  • Lovell's Province of Nova Scotia Directory for 1871

  • McAlpine's Maritime Provinces Directory for 1870-71

  • McAlpine's Annapolis and Kings Counties for 1886-87

  • McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1890-97

  • McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1896

  • McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory, Magdalen Islands and St. Pierre Directory for 1902

  • McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1907-08
    explore a digitized version of McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory online.

  • McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1914-15

With the exception of McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1868-69 and Lovell's Province of Nova Scotia Directory for 1871 (arranged by community, in alphabetical order), these provincial directories are arranged by county – and since Nova Scotia has eighteen, be prepared either to know or to figure out which one your family lived in, before you start reading! The counties are presented in alphabetical order; a surname listing for the county/shire town normally leads off, followed by similar listings for other large towns within the county. Then comes a long list of residents living within the county generally, each name followed by occupation and name of the closest community. Don't expect to find everyone you're looking for – these provincial compilations are notoriously incomplete!

See the section above on City and Town Directories for some information regarding additional content sometimes found in the provincial compilations.